The Tour kicks off in early January with a return to the famed waves of Manu Bay, Raglan for the second year running before heading to the Hyundai National Championships at Piha. The idyllic Sandy Bay is the venue of the third event which returns as a solely domestic event in 2013. The then Tour takes on a new venue at Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth for the penultimate event of the summer season.
The final event of the Tour has been moved from the 'home of the finale' at Port Waikato to the opposite coast at Mount Maunganui where the champions of seven divisions will be crowned for 2013.
The 2013 Tour will be wide open with the early absence of defending Open Men's Division Champion Thomas Kibblewhite (Auck) for the first two events. Kibblewhite has dominated the division over the past two years winning in 2012 and placing second as the highest Kiwi ranked surfer in 2011.
2012 Tour runner up Zen Wallis finished this year on a high winning the final event and will be one of several surfers that will fancy their chances of a Tour title. That list also includes the likes of Dylan Barnfield (Tara), Ant McColl (Tara) and Matt Cockayne (Auck).
New Zealand's top internationally ranked female longboarder Wini Paul (Sandy Bay) has been based in Australia for the past few years. She recently returned to New Zealand and will contest the tour in 2013 and try and defend her event title at Sandy Bay. Paul is hoping to push 2012 Tour Champion and good friend Mischa Davis for the overall title.
The addition of an event at Fitzroy Beach in New Plymouth will add a new dimension to the tour. There is a strong longboard community in the region, particularly amongst the older generation who will be keen to give the Tour a crack in home waters come mid-February.
Taranaki is the new base for two top Hyundai Tour campaigners who have recently made the move west for work. 2010 Tour Champion Dylan Barnfield (originally from Ohope) and winner of the Mount Maunganui leg of the 2012 Tour, Ant McColl (formerly from Mount Maunganui), will use their new found knowledge of the Fitzroy Beach line up to their advantage.
"I am amped, so excited to get back competing this summer" said Ant McColl.
"The first longboard comp I ever went to was in New Plymouth, it was first road trip I ever did so it is cool for the Tour to be coming back here. The boardriders club rooms are great and there are good waves too" he added.
McColl is also looking forward to finishing the Tour where he grew up at Mount Maunganui, the location which he recalls as the final event of the longboard series back in early the 2000s. "I won't miss Port, when it is on, it is good, but we have had three rough years in a row there so it will be good to mix it up."
New additions to the 2013 Hyundai Tour will include a 'logger' expression session at each event for the traditionalists of longboarding. A long distance stand up paddleboard race is also proposed at each event of the tour. Logistics and courses are currently being determined for each location with the race expected to unearth some world class athletes.
The 2013 Open Men's Division Tour winner will receive a return airfare to Australia and entry into one of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Longboard Qualifying Series events. The prize was claimed by Auckland's Thomas Kibblewhite in 2012.
Hyundai have also teamed up with Global Surf Industries and Starboard to provide boards to raffle off at each event location. All proceeds from the raffles go back to the host boardriders club to help develop surfing in their region.
Hyundai New Zealand has been the main supporter and title sponsor of the National Surfing Championships for eight straight years as part of their long standing partnership with surfing in New Zealand. The announcement of the 2013 Tour follows Hyundai's confirmation of their commitment to the sport of surfing and Surfing New Zealand for a further year.
"As a 100% NZ owned and operated business, Hyundai NZ is proud to get behind New Zealand surfing and help bring you the Hyundai Tour. The Tour is a fantastic way of bringing families and communities together for a day on the beach and also fuel the development of New Zealand's iconic sport of surfing" says Andy Sinclair, General Manager of Hyundai New Zealand.
"Over the previous seven years of sponsorship it's been exciting watching the tour evolve and we're really looking forward to the 2013 events."
Surfing New Zealand CEO Greg Townsend says he is thrilled with how the 2013 Tour is evolving.
"Together with Hyundai, we have worked hard to bring a five-event tour to New Zealand surfers in 2013. We are proud to be working with Hyundai this summer and look forward to yet another action packed summer of battles in the ocean and fun times on land at each of the events around the New Zealand coastline" he said.
"The Hyundai Tour continues to grow and I have no doubt we will witness some spectacular surfing, great family times and a lot of fun when the events commence in January."
Seven divisions will be contested on the tour - Open Men, Women, Junior Men (Under 18), Over 40, Over 50 and Stand Up Paddleboarding and the SUP Race. The Logger Expression Session and proposed Long Distance SUP Race will also be put in the mix. Overall the Hyundai Tour will boast $12,000 in prize money.
The complete calendar of events for the 2013 Hyundai Tour follows:
Hyundai Tour Event 1, 5-6 January, Raglan (4-star)
Hyundai Tour Event 2, 13-19 January, Piha (5-star) - National Championships
Hyundai Tour Event 3, 1-3 February, Sandy Bay (4-star)
Hyundai Tour Event 4, 16-17 February, Fitzroy Beach, New Plymouth (4-star)
Hyundai Tour Event 5, 1-2 March, Mount Maunganui (4-star)
Entry into the events can be completed at Surfing New Zealand under "events" from the 1st December. Complete the entry process online or download entry forms and send them in. The 2013 Hyundai Tour is expected to receive high entry levels, so entrants will need to be in well before the cut off dates to assure themselves a slice of the action.
The past five years of Hyundai Tour champions for their respective divisions are listed below.
2008 - Daryn Mcbride (Mnt)
2009 - Michael Burling (Gis)
2010 - Dylan Barnfield (Ohope)
2011 - Josh Constable (Australia)
2012 - Thomas Kibblewhite (Auckland)
2008 - Daisy Thomas (Chch)
2009 - Daisy Thomas (Chch)
2010 - Daisy Thomas (Chch)
2011 - Shelley Jones (Auck)
2012 - Mischa Davis (Piha)
2008 - Michael Thomson (Rag)
2009 - Lynden Kennings (WGM)
2010 - Grant Cochrane (Chch)
2011 - Brian Young (Orewa)
2012 - Brian Young (Orewa)
2008 - Viv Treacy (Whangarei)
2009 - David Storck (Piha)
2010 - Michael Thomson (Rag)
2011 - Viv Treacy (Ocean Beach)
2012 - Mike Thomson (Rag)
2008 - Sam Guthrie (Mnt)
2009 - Sam Guthrie (Mnt)
2010 - Jackson Winter (Noosa, Aus)
2011 - Hone Douglas (Whtane)
2012 - Sam Poulter (Rag)
Stand Up Paddleboard
2011 - Daniel Kereopa (Rag)
2012 - Daniel Kereopa (Rag)
Stand Up Paddleboard Race
2011 - Armie Armstrong (Rag)
2012 - Armie Armstrong (Rag)
For further information on the 2013 Hyundai Tour please contact Surfing New Zealand's Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org